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Mental Health

How Not to Get Overwhelmed During COVID-19

In thinking of potential writing topics this week, I was hesitant to write about anything related to the coronavirus, aka COVID-19. It’s big, scary, and saturating just about every communication medium there is. I was pretty sure everyone would rather read anything but another virus-related article. However, I realized that the news is just full of terrifying, attention grabbing headlines. Instead of invoking fear, I wanted to help you all get away from the anxiety that is now so prevalent in most of our new daily at-home lives.

laptop on a bed
Daria Shevtsova

Though it may seem obvious, get off of Twitter (this is definitely the worst Dooms Day speaking social media.) You may think you’re staying up to date on news using the Trends section or just enjoying some COVID-19 memes, but in truth too much is TOO much. When you’re constantly looking at the news (where not everything is necessarily true) or even just thinking about the virus and joking that it’s the end of the world, you’re implanting little seeds of anxiety that build up throughout the day. It’s fine to check it maybe a couple times a day, but don’t be obsessive. To be honest, you don’t need to know ALL of the most recent virus news… there are just some things that are so scary and so out of our control that it’s pointless to think too much about it.

pink mug and magazine
Jess @ Harper Sunday

Netflix got super old, super fast didn’t it? Although classes have started, there’s still a lot of down time to fill, especially if you decided to limit your social media usage. This is the perfect time to learn a new hobby. I’ve recently enjoyed learning to use oil pastels, which I bought on Amazon for maybe $8 for a pack of 50 (and they’re good quality, too!) You could take up any medium of art. There’s also bullet journaling (you could spend hours just watching bullet journaling videos on YouTube, too.) If you’re not super artistic, you can still be creative by printing and coloring a design with colored pencils or markers. Crocheting is also a super fun, yet easy to learn skill. Last summer I learned to sew my own scrunchies. Maybe you could crop shirts and use the extra fabric to make matching scrunchies? You could read a book for fun, maybe a self-help book if you’re into that. Take a walk and look for and catalog bugs and plants in a notebook. Anything that stimulates your mind is bound to be a good use of time.

coffee and open book
Dominika Roseclay

My last bit of advice is to count your blessings. Everyone is being forced to sacrifice so many big and painful things right now. This virus has affected us each in ways we would never have dreamed of, yet here we are, forced to settle into our new less-than-ideal situation. It’s SO easy to think that everything sucks. Instead of letting the disappointment overwhelm you, write a list of everything that’s good right now. Think about how lucky we are that UVA is so great that we all hate to leave it. Be thankful for the friends who you’ve gotten to know this semester, maybe try out our Lord and Savior Zoom to give them a call. Think about how you still get to continue your education, even if it’s not just how we’d wanted it. Yes, there is a lot to be disappointed about, but this too shall pass, and the future holds so many possibilities. Stay healthy and safe, friends!

Nikki is a second year and an intended Biology major at the University of Virginia. Her loves in life include reading, animals, and cookies! Writing is one of her creative outlets and she hopes you enjoy her articles as much as she enjoys writing them!
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